What is the most light-weight ( in terms of RAM/CPU Usage) anti-virus for Windows XP?

JamesAndersonJr

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A client of mine asked me to fix her netbook, because she felt she had many viruses on it.

Well...She was right! I found a plethora of viruses, root-kits etc. on it, and her system clock was set back to the year 2002!
Now, I've cleaned the laptop off [mostly] with a combination of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and Avast. But the problem I'm facing is that her netbook is showing a total of 0.99 GB of RAM!

Avast has become a little bit heavy (to say the least) over the years, and has heavy marketing within the free versions. So I know, working with < 1 GB of RAM, I can't leave it on her computer.

Does anyone know of an extremely light-weight anti-virus that:

A.) works on Windows XP SP3
B.) Works well with less than a gig of RAM
C.) Has active monitoring, like Avast.
 

jimmysmitty

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XP SP3 doesn't work well alone with less than 1GB of system RAM. Adding an AV will make it even slower. The lightest weight one I know is MSE because it is so basic and does have active scanning but not as advanced as some others.
 

Math Geek

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i was looking specifically for this same type of system. i was fixing up a bunch of old xp machines and need the lightest av i could find. after testing everything i could get my hands on, i found avast to be the lightest AV i could find that did its job fairly well. i tried many others and the light ones were not very good in what they could do.

the ads do get a bit annoying but take a look at the resources it uses. was less than 30 mb when i tested it out compared to at least 75-100 mb for other "light" programs.

it has been a year since i did this testing but i have not heard of another av taking this crown from it for being so light on resources.
 

jimmysmitty

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XP SP3 doesn't work well alone with less than 1GB of system RAM. Adding an AV will make it even slower. The lightest weight one I know is MSE because it is so basic and does have active scanning but not as advanced as some others.
 

JamesAndersonJr

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Unfortunately, Microsoft has blocked MSE installs on Windows XP because of it's EOL status.
 

geofelt

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FWIW, I have an ancient laptop with XP PRO 32 bit installed and also Microsoft security essentials.
768mb ram.
I was able to download and update the security definitions( Last time was a year ago)
Ran a scan and found no problems.
You do get a warning in awful red numbers that the operating system is no longer supported and that your pc is at risk.
It seems though that they do still support updating MSE.
 

xSimply1337x

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I'd say that as long as you are connected to the internet (which is how you usually get viruses anyways) you can use a cloud based antivirus. I recommend Panda Security. Here is a link to their free version of the software, however, if you really end up liking it enough I'd recommend getting one of the paid versions.

http://www.pandasecurity.com/usa/homeusers/solutions/free-antivirus/

great thing about it is that it doesn't hog any resources. it only uses a few megabytes of memory to run the client that connects you to the cloud based anti virus system. so all you need is an active internet connection.

--EDIT--
the free version is anti-virus only and has limited real-time protection when browsing the web. If you'd like to reduce you're chances of getting a virus when browsing then I recommend installing the Adblock Plus addon/extension on either Firefox or Chrome.
 
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